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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Letters and Communications > Dear Boss Letter

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  #31  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:16 PM
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Hi All,

Just a crass notion, but Best couldn't have profited financially or enhanced his career prospects by writing DB without letting someone else in on the wheeze.

Also, if Jack the Ripper was nothing but a press invention cooked up to boost newspaper circulation, why years later were assorted top cops pretending he was real?

Regards,

Simon
So are you telling me and the rest of the world that people like me around the world have spent years chasing a FICTITIOUS killer?

Mr Holmes
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  #32  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:58 AM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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So are you telling me and the rest of the world that people like me around the world have spent years chasing a FICTITIOUS killer?

Well, a couple of serious books have been written on that theme:

AP Wolf "Jack the Myth" (1993 - which is, I think, available on this site); and

Peter Turnbull "The Killer Who Never Was" (1996).

After an initial shock, I found the ideas in both thought provoking and they set me off into new avenues.

I would date my tendency to question the truth of the "five canonicals" to reading those two books. I am now much more willing to consider the inclusion of other victims - Mckenzie - and to exclude others - Stride, MJK even Eddowes.

I suppose the idea behind the idea of no single killer is that the successive creation of a single "identity" (initially Leather Apron, then JtR) created a "frenzied", super-charged atmosphere in which press, public and police were all minded to think in terms of a SINGLE killer and may have conflated murders that were actually the work of other hands (Stride, MJK notably).

Since the question of method remains controversial it is not an idea that we can dismiss lightly, I feel. It sings in my head all the time nowadays, when I contemplate posts on here, read a new Ripper-related book, or consider a theory being put forward.

Phil H
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  #33  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:40 AM
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil H View Post
So are you telling me and the rest of the world that people like me around the world have spent years chasing a FICTITIOUS killer?

Well, a couple of serious books have been written on that theme:

AP Wolf "Jack the Myth" (1993 - which is, I think, available on this site); and

Peter Turnbull "The Killer Who Never Was" (1996).

After an initial shock, I found the ideas in both thought provoking and they set me off into new avenues.

I would date my tendency to question the truth of the "five canonicals" to reading those two books. I am now much more willing to consider the inclusion of other victims - Mckenzie - and to exclude others - Stride, MJK even Eddowes.

I suppose the idea behind the idea of no single killer is that the successive creation of a single "identity" (initially Leather Apron, then JtR) created a "frenzied", super-charged atmosphere in which press, public and police were all minded to think in terms of a SINGLE killer and may have conflated murders that were actually the work of other hands (Stride, MJK notably).

Since the question of method remains controversial it is not an idea that we can dismiss lightly, I feel. It sings in my head all the time nowadays, when I contemplate posts on here, read a new Ripper-related book, or consider a theory being put forward.

Phil H
That is all well and good Phil but I asked what YOU think on the matter. Are we chasing a fictitious killer or not?

Mr Holmes
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  #34  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:27 PM
Phil H Phil H is offline
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I don't think "Jackthe Ripper" existed in the classic form, no.

I don't think the popular image of opera hat, cape and Gladstone bag is tenable, no.

I think MJK was probably killed by a separate hand and I am unsure (still) about Stride.

I think one killer may have killed Nichols and Chapman, maybe McKenzie.

Does that mean I no longer believe in JtR - as the man in the street would define him? I guess so.

Phil H
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  #35  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi Sherlock Holmes,

I realise it goes against the Ripperological grain, but, yes, we have been chasing a fictitious killer.

Thinking about this antithetical proposition doesn't immediately solve the mystery, but it does allow us to start making proper sense of all the various rot history has handed down to us.

Regards,

Simon
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  #36  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:00 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Hi Sherlock Holmes,

I realise it goes against the Ripperological grain, but, yes, we have been chasing a fictitious killer.
That should not come as a surprise to anyone.
When we don't have a name, nor know what he looked like, or how many he killed. No matter what the mind conjures up, the image must be largely fiction.

Like chasing smoke...
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  #37  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:38 PM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi Jon,

You appear to be suggesting that, whilst the persona of JtR may have been fiction, a "serial killer" operating independently of the name was hard at work.

That's a rose by any other name.

Try setting the Whitechapel murders mystery into the context of there having been no common perpetrator.

I promise that it will prove to be an illuminating experience.

Regards,

Simon

Last edited by Simon Wood : 11-28-2012 at 11:41 PM. Reason: spolling mistook
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  #38  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:44 AM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Hi Jon,

You appear to be suggesting that, whilst the persona of JtR may have been fiction, a "serial killer" operating independently of the name was hard at work.
I've always accepted, right or wrong, that at the very least three victims fell by the same hand.

Quote:
Try setting the Whitechapel murders mystery into the context of there having been no common perpetrator.

I promise that it will prove to be an illuminating experience.
I think that interpretation only creates more problems, too many killers in the same area emulating a pattern. Or lets ask the question, why should that perspective make things easier to understand?

What is the benefit to having a dozen different killers from Smith through to Coles?

Regards, Jon S.
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Regards, Jon S.
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  #39  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:59 PM
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caz caz is offline
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I agree Jon. I've been asking this ever since the first converts began to appear, suggesting these 'unfortunate' murders could more easily be solved if we presumed each was by a different hand, and presumably committed for a variety of motives.

I have seen no attempts to explain the reasoning behind this speculation, or to provide any real evidence that a serial mutilator was not abroad in Whitechapel. Serial killing was and is a rare enough phenomenon as it is, but we are being asked to consider something that would apparently be unique in the long history of crime.

What's it all about? Nobody ever actually says.

Love,

Caz
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  #40  
Old 11-29-2012, 05:09 PM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Hello Caroline.

"I have seen no attempts to explain the reasoning behind this speculation, or to provide any real evidence that a serial mutilator was not abroad in Whitechapel. Serial killing was and is a rare enough phenomenon as it is, but we are being asked to consider something that would apparently be unique in the long history of crime."

Permit me. If we take the canonical five and one slayer, we must explain why Liz is not mutilated and Polly has organs intact. The best we can come up with is the deus ex machina, "Oh, well, he was interrupted."

We must explain why we are/are not looking for a thief--Polly was not pilfered, Kate was.

Also we can propose a weak but barely passing suspect like Barnett as the killer of "MJK" without the silly attempts to explain why he HAD to kill Kate.

It is what Mr Evans reminded us of in his "Ultimate Companion"--keep seriality in the back of your mind but treat each as a case in itself.

Serial killing? No, not even one serial killer in the Autumn of 1888--unless the torso killer were such.

Cheers.
LC
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